Saturday, January 02, 2016

Daniel: already fulfilled?


C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892), of unforgettable stature in Christian history, referred to a commentary on the book of Daniel as setting forth the "absurd hypothesis" that all of Daniel's prophecies were fulfilled in the period between the Old and New Testament -- that is, the years between Malachi and Matthew (See Spurgeon's Commenting and Commentaries, page 126, review #770).
A good friend and customer, a former missionary to Honduras, was in my book store recently, and I raised the question of his views on the prophecies in Daniel.
"They have all been fulfilled," he said, and indicated they were fulfilled before the coming of Christ.

I then asked, in as gentle a manner as I could muster, "If they have all been fulfilled before Christ, what did Jesus mean in Matthew 24:15 when He referred to the 'abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet,' as being yet in the future?"

He instantly replied, "I have got to go," and immediately left the store.

The theory that Daniel's "abomination of desolation" had a pre-New Testament fulfillment by Antiochus Epiphanes is a Jewish idea first alleged in the Jewish book of First Maccabees 1:54, which appears in the Apocrypha. Later,the first century Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus, bought into this alleged past fulfillment, and the idea has since gained a place in many subsequent sources. No one knows what the "abomination of desolation" is, and it is not defined in the Scriptures. Certainly, Josephus, a Pharisee priest, did not know.

Also, Josephus apparently is the "father" of the idea that Daniel also prophesied of Rome's destruction of Jerusalem in A. D. 70. Quite a number of sources have passed this idea along, but these ideas about Daniel's prophecies cannot be substantiated by Scripture or history.

 Although we find these alleged fulfillments often accepted and perpetuated in commentaries and notes in so-called "study Bibles," there is nothing in Daniel about Antiochus Epiphanes, Rome, or A. D. 70; Daniel's prophecies are about the end-time.

 -- Bob L. Ross
(713) 477--2329 


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